So here’s a question for…

So here's a question for you. If you were (or are) a South Asian-American parent, in the position of my parents, would the previous FAQ responses be at all upsetting? I'm trying to figure out how to reasonably talk about them (because interviewers persist in asking me about them, and undoubtedly will continue to do so) in a way that is honest, but won't upset them unduly. Tricky to negotiate.

The last day has essentially be lounging around the house, along with my parents buying me some clothes as a birthday present. Astonishingly, I've discovered that a dusty rose (aka 'pink') actually looks good on me, as do certain shades of lighter blue. The food here is infinitely delicious but too rich for my tummy -- I've gotten accustomed to diet eating, I think. Weird. Frustrating.

5 thoughts on “So here’s a question for…”

  1. I think you answered the previous FAQ quite adequately. You were open and honest about your relationship with your parents and the way it’s been affected without portraying your parents in a negative light. It was a simple answer and it said it all. You did a fine job.

  2. Not only was it positive about your parents, but it was clear that this is not their sort of thing. I don’t know your parents personally, but I think many traditional parents would be happy to be on the record as not in favor of sex-related writing. Deniability, as it were.

  3. I think that your comments are fair and balanced but potentially hurtful to read. I think if my child were being written about in public or were writing herself, I’d want the public face to be about what I did to help her achieve success. If the conflict were more resolved than it sounds to be, it would be okay to talk about it as something everyone has come to terms with. The line about your relationship with them being one of the most difficult things in your life – would be particularly hurtful to hear and embarrassing.

    I don’t have any better ideas of how to address your relationship with your family – except perhaps to tell journalists that it’s really not something you wish to discuss in depth and focus on the determination, the love of language, the other aspects of your parents that were wholy positive.

    One of the things I wonder – are these comments going to help bridge the remaining gaps with your parents, or prolong the divide? I would guess the latter. Things said in private are forgotten much earlier than things said in public, and things written in the press are going to haunt your relationship for a long time I would expect.

  4. As the child of immigrants, I have to say that your answer is as good and balanced as it could be given that there may be no answer that your parents will be okay with. My folks are extremely traditional and staid and would much prefer a response that “keeps up appearances,” rather than exposes intimate family issues. I cant rightly predict how your parents will respond. Having said that, I rather liked your answer!

  5. Would your parents characterize themselves as “very traditional and conservative”? They might think of it instead as being concerned with honor, or with respect for their ancestors’ customs and beliefs, or with avoiding the hedonism of American life. Or maybe they think of themselves as liberal by comparison with the towns where they grew up?

    Anyway, I admire the way you tackle the hard questions so directly and publicly.

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